Friday, July 10, 2009

The 100% Perfect Solution

Sometimes things are so blatantly obvious I wonder why I haven't seen them clearly long before I do!

I was chatting with my neighbor this morning. We talked about the health of both our old dogs and laughed about our not having any white flour when her daughter came looking for a cup full and what good gravy whole wheat flour makes. We talked of the neighborhood deer that spent a couple of hours lounging under one of her pines just wiling away the afternoon yesterday and how we hope no one shoots her come hunting season. We 're both anxious for the Michael Jackson hoopla to fade and rolled our eyes over Sarah Palin's current escapades.

I had never come close to mentioning politics with her before. She was born and raised in Idaho, one of the most red of red states. I was a bit surprised. She went on to explain she and one son are the black sheep of the family. They are, she said, about as liberal as you can get.

It made me think of my parents. They too were at opposite ends of the political spectrum though politics weren't much of an issue in our household. Then it hit me!

Okay. It's Friday. Yard work is done for the day and I haven't posted one of my Dogwalk Solutions for at least a week. Today it's how to end partisanship in Congress! Be it male or female, make it a requirement that the spouse of the candidate be of the opposite party!

Think about it. Look at Mary Matalin and James Carville, probably the best known family of political opposites. They have a good strong marriage and a great family regardless of their political views. Why? Well, they probably love each other which isn't a bad place to start, but more importantly they've learned to work together for the good of their family regardless of party affiliation!

What better training ground than family? Those in Congress don't seem to understand the concept of putting differences aside, or compromising for the good of the country. Maybe they would understand it in terms of family! Perhaps they should think of us as their surrogate children.

Sure, there will always be those who will never put anyone before themselves. Those like the aforementioned Sarah Palin, or John Edwards, John Ensign, Roland Burris and Mark Sanford. But, as in real life, are not most members of Congress family men and women like you and I, or my parents, or my neighbors? Of course they are.

I realize that as soon as someone is elected to Congress they go through a brain wipe that removes all sensibilities other than party and self. Maybe we have been handling elections all wrong. Let's forget political ideology and focus on what one learns from being a member of a family. The most important is perhaps the art of compromise for the greater good.

It is so simple and so obvious. And that is exactly why no one has seen it!


Word Tosser said...

compromise and tolerance is what good marriages are based on with love. But if one has a heavy ego, that ego needs to be fed very well. And that is where our elected officials go astray.

Mike Kennedy said...


I just left this comment on HBO, too: I'm in a mixed political marriage. My wife tends to think not very much at all about things political while I obviously do. We're both probably in the middle of the spectrum when it comes down to it on issues, with differences on the margins, normally related to whom we like or don't like as national figures.

I think she'll vote for that Kennedy guy for City Council this November, though. At least I hope she will. I should probably go ask her where she is on that decision come to think of it… :-)

Dogwalkmusings said...

Hey Mike!

That's my point other than that the post was meant to be tongue in cheek as are all my Dogwalk solutions. Your wife is going to put aside personal differences for the sake of the family. See? It does work!

Linda said...

I agree with all you said except James Carville and Mary Matalin are two of the strangest people I've seen in politics.

Perhaps their marriage works so well because they're so strange. I don't know how it would be with normal people. Perhaps easier since it wouldn't also be your careers.

I never like her and there are a lot of days I want to put a sock in his mouth.

Enough said, if it works for them it works for me. (they're strange)

Sansego said...

When I was on my university's Washington Seminar program in D.C., I quickly became known as the most liberal person in the group (of about 30 students) and several people wanted me to date the woman who was known as the most conservative person in the group. They even cited the Mary Matalin-James Carville marriage.

However, I laughed it off because the lady was a "rightwing nut" who ranted about "one world government" and such, while I was an internationalist. I did date a Republican lady I met and was attracted to, but she and I belonged to the same church and she was pro-choice. I even managed to convince her to vote for Gore in November 2000. I wanted to marry her, but she fell in love with another guy.

While I wouldn't rule out someone who has a politically different view from my own, it would be hard for me to even be attracted to a lady who is a big Sarah Palin supporter and thinks Obama is a Muslim terrorist out to destroy our country. The intellectual and credibility gap would be too large to overlook for me, which would make it a marriage from hell.

In college, a woman who was more liberal than me was interested in dating me. I didn't like her views either, though. Mostly, I think it was her flirtation with Wicca that really turned me away.

Overall, political compatability ranks lower for me than spiritual and personal compatability.